Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Harvey Weinstein Felony Charges; Cancelled Summit; Russia Investigation; Washington D.C. Meetings; North Korea Says It's Still Willing To Meet Trump after U.S. President Cancels Summit. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 25, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:01] JOHN VAUSE, CNN, ANCHOR: Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein set to turn himself to police on Friday. He'll be formally charged with rape. Hello, everybody. Great to have you with us, I'm John Vause. This is hour number three of Newsroom L.A.

North Korea says it's till willing to meet face-to-face at any time with the U.S. That statement came just hours after Donald Trump canceled the summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un. The U.S. President agreed to the meeting back in March, (Inaudible) optimism, even talking that he might just win a Nobel Peace Prize. But in the weeks which followed, it was easy to see all the diplomatic steps that were skipped.

Cracks began to show last week when the North became cagey and threatened to pull out of the summit scheduled for June 12th. Then it officially crumbled on Thursday in the form of a letter from Donald Trump. A few hours later, he elaborated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I hope that Kim Jong-Un will ultimately do what is right, not only for himself but perhaps most importantly what's right for his people, who are suffering greatly and needlessly. All of the Korean people, North and South, deserve to be able to live together in harmony, prosperity, and peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: CNN's Paula Hancocks is live Seoul, South Korea, and Alexandria Field standing live for us in Hong Kong. Paula, I will start with you. No allies received advance notice of the President's decision that he had scrapped the summit, and that includes the South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He found out the same time as the rest of the world did. So what does that mean for the U.S.-South Korean alliance? Are there now some difficult times ahead?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it was certainly (Inaudible) for the South Korean officials really reeling over the news, of course, finding out at the same time as we found out. There was no heads up whatsoever from the U.S. side. President Moon has only just got back from Washington, D.C., where he met with the U.S. President Donald Trump. They were discussing what to talk about during this summit. He was

giving guidance. He was pointing out that the North Koreans definitely wanted to go ahead with this summit. This is what the South Korean officials have told us, was the content of that discussion insisting that Kim Jong-Un still wants this meeting.

So certainly, this is a real shock to the South Korean side. They have a national security counsel meeting at midnight on Thursday going into Friday, an hour-long meeting with the President. Some of the ministers as well, all looking very stony faced given the photo that they provided for us. So it would be a great surprise to them, especially as on the way to Washington, and national security advisor said, for example, said it was a 99.9 percent chance this summit would go ahead.

Now clearly words that he bitterly regrets now. But that shows the confidence that the South Koreans had, that this would go ahead from what they heard from the North Koreans, and presumably from the Americans as well, John.

VAUSE: OK. Paula, thank you. So Alex, there was a (Inaudible) in all of this. It would seem to be China, once again, all roads to Pyongyang goes to Beijing, and that is some powerful leverage for President Xi Jinping.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Most certainly, John. It seemed in the run up to this summit, that Beijing had been sidelined. These developments came fast and furious. It was really South Korea and Moon Jae-In who had orchestrated this improbable sit down between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump. It now seems though the whole thing has fallen apart. That China may have had a hand behind the scenes.

Certainly, officials in Beijing have continued to say they wanted the summit to happen. That's what they were saying in recent days and weeks. They have always taken the position. It's important to have dialogue. They certainly want a peaceful and a stable environment on the peninsula. They also want to preserve however, their influence in the region, and they don't want the U.S. to expand its influence in the region.

What we saw in the run up to this summit that has now fallen apart, was first, that it appeared that Beijing had been sidelined because they weren't part of the setting up of this summit. But then also saw what appeared to be a warming of relations between North Korea and China, with two meetings between Kim Jong-Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And it was after that second meeting that President Trump says that the tone from North Korea appeared to change. And he really did point the finger at China. He did mention when he canceled that summit that North Korea had become more hostile. He had also earlier indicated that the tone of cooperation in the run up to this summit have appeared to have changed after these two meetings with President Xi Jinping.

Now there has been no official comment from Beijing at this point. We have not heard officials speak publicly since the news came down with the June 12th meeting would be canceled. Certainly, we do expect that they will asked about it at the daily briefing. Later today, we'll hear what they have to say about it, John.

[02:05:04] VAUSE: OK. Alexandra Field, thank you. We appreciate the live report. Well for more, joining me here now here in Los Angeles is Clayton Dube. He is the Director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California. And in San Francisco, Philip Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Ploughshares Fund.

Philip, you know, was this summit essentially doomed to fail from the very beginning because there was actually no agreement on what the objectives or what they're even negotiating here. And so at the end of the day, this decision to scrap the summit was actually the right decision.

PHILIP YUN, PLOUGHSHARES FUND, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Well, I think the jury still out. Again, I've always with North Korea, never too high, never too low. I think what I want to do is look at what was the real reason for they scrapped the summit and why Donald Trump did what he said he (Inaudible) set the letter. If he believes it's because of North Koreans didn't show up, I think they definitely misread the North Koreans.

Bumps in the road, always happen. I remember the first (Inaudible) in negotiations, I was in the North Koreans with after the first meeting, the next day they never showed up as well. And then the next day, there were three hours late. So they may have misinterpreted. That's a possibility. If the real reason isn't that, it's either that this is gamesmanship, which is entirely possible.

Donald Trump is known for that. Or as you say, they're really spooked that the substance wasn't really there, that the North Koreans and the United States don't really have a meeting of the minds. North Korea wants the -- give up its nuclear weapons much later in time. The United States at the very beginning, and that gap was never going to be bridged. And so this is why they decided they couldn't do this.

So it just really depends what's really behind the thinking of the administration right now.

VAUSE: Because there is a report that the author of the Art of the Deal basically said that Donald Trump does not like to be humiliated. He was worried that they would not show up to the summit or they would withdraw from the summit without any kind of agreement. He didn't want to be embarrassed.

YUN: No, I think that's absolutely right. That's one thing that they have to really be worried about. But I also think that this meeting should happen, because the only way we're going to find out what North Korea really wants and that begins with Kim Jong-Un, is to have a conversation. So whether that happens with Donald Trump right away, the next couple or a little bit matter, really doesn't matter, just as long as it happens. And I've got a feeling that there's a lot of incentive for both of

these folks to have this kind of meeting. So we'll just have to see what happens.

VAUSE: Clayton, North Korea's tone and rhetoric have taken a much sharper tone in recent weeks. The U.S. President believes that's a direct result of China's influence on Kim Jong-Un. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have a wonderful dialogue. We have a wonderful -- it's been a very good working relationship. It started with the hostages coming back home. The hostages came home. We didn't have to pay. We wouldn't have paid. But they came back home. They're now safely ensconced in their houses, and they're very happy and thrilled. And they never thought it was going to happen. So the dialogue was good until recently, and I think I understand what had happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Is that how you see it?

CLAYTON DUBE, U.S.-CHINA INSTITUTE, DIRECTOR: Not necessarily. I think that there's no question that the contact between the North Korea leadership and China's leadership has had an impact. There's no question about that. And Xi Jinping sent very strong signals, first of all to get Kim Jong-Un to go to Beijing and then later to go back to (Inaudible), that sort of thing.

But in addition, one of the things that's not mentioned, of course, the North Koreans have always resented these military exercises, and Xi Jinping resents these military exercises, and said this is something that you can hammer at.

VAUSE: You think that maybe now that Xi Jinping kind of re-exerted his influence over the North Koreans and the whole situation, if you like that we could now be now (Inaudible) talks, Beijing, Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang, which maybe is a better (Inaudible) anyway.

DUBE: No, I do expect that.

VAUSE: Yes.

DUBE: There is not much question that nothing would ultimately be worked without Seoul and without Beijing, that it couldn't just be between Pyongyang and Washington.

VAUSE: There is also the suggestion that Xi was you know using his influence over North Korea -- maybe gaining leverage on other issues with the U.S., trade talks for instance. Do you see that as a cause (Inaudible) because nothing ever happens in isolation?

DUBE: That's right. And their relationship has got multiple dimensions and it is always moving. And there is no question that the troubled trade relationship is part of this. There is little doubt about it. In addition, you've got China making moves in the South China Sea, the United States responding to those moves. There are a lot of things going on.

[02:09:57] VAUSE: Philip, to you, putting the President's allegations to one side. Is it an unintended consequence here that the collapse of the summit will simply push Kim Jong-Un much closer now to Beijing?

YUN: Well, I think that's a possibility. But I think you know in certain ways Kim Jong-Un seems to me in certain ways in the driver's seat to some regard. Because I think that what his grandfather and his father have done very well, just North Korea in general, is to play the big powers off of each other. So clearly, this is what has been happening over the last six months.

If you recall, China did not really want to meet with Kim Jong-Un whatsoever. And then Donald Trump said I'll meet with you, and then suddenly China invited Kim Jong-Un over, and they had subsequent meetings in (Inaudible) and others. So I think what's going on here is a game and a sense, where Kim Jong-Un is trying to decide you know who is going to offer more.

So I think we'll have to see what comes out of all this. It's a very complicated game as I've said before.

VAUSE: You know (Inaudible) White House. You know everything's OK here. There are no consequences from describing the summit. We'll just go back to business as usual. Again, here's the President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If and when Kim Jong-Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting. In the meantime, our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue, as it has been continuing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Can that maximum pressure strategy continue on without Beijing? Because there is some suggestion now that the sanctions are being ease and that this whole strategy is dead.

YUN: It all turns on Beijing. Beijing is the source of exports to North Korea. It's the only place that buys North Korean products. It is key in this, and so they have always been crucial player. And Donald Trump understood this. And that's why beginning last year in April, he was very conciliatory towards the (Inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: There is no getting back to business as usual.

YUN: No.

VAUSE: OK. The President announced he's scrapping the summit to South after the North Koreans set off a series of explosives at their nuclear testing site. It was meant to be a public display of North Korea could (Inaudible). Destruction of three tunnels at the site apparently making it no longer operational, and there are many doubts that is in fact the case (Inaudible) from the U.N. There was no one there from nuclear watchdogs, for instance. But we did have CNN's Will Ripley, one of a handful of journalists who has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: We were on the way back from the nuclear test site (Inaudible) when the news broke overnight that President Trump has canceled the upcoming summit in Singapore. It was incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to be on the train with North Koreans after just witnessing the destruction of their nuclear test site at (Inaudible), something that they had hoped would lead to substantial progress in relations between the U.S. and North Korea. And instead, the situation went downhill.

I'm here at North Korea's nuclear test site at (Inaudible), a place that foreign journalists have never been allowed. And we are here, the North Korean government says to witness the destruction of this site. They say it will never be able to be used again. With each powerful explosion, the earth shakes. We travel around 15 hours to get here, first by bus through the coastal city of Wonsan.

Compartment seven, here we are. Then some 12 hours by train. This is one of those moments where you blink and realize I'm having dinner on a train going through North Korea. A luxury ride by North Korean standards, we just came through and they closed all the blinds and told us that for the entire train ride, we can't film anything out the windows. We pull into (Inaudible) station then begin the nearly two hour drive to test site, once again, no filming along the way.

We passed tough a number of what looked like small farming villages. There was no sign of life, completely empty except for the handful of soldiers at the guard posts along the way. We get a briefing from the deputy director of North Korea's nuclear weapons institute. He won't tell us his name. Then, we're allowed to inspect the tunnels. North Korea says they could have easily conducted more nuclear tests here.

They say two tunnels have never been used. So they say by rigging it with explosives and blowing it up, that's a meaningful step towards denuclearization. No nuclear weapons experts at our small group, only journalists. It's actually quite beautiful here. The North Korea says that the eco system hasn't been damaged by all these nuclear tests for more than a decade. They say no radiation has seeped out.

[02:15:08] Journalists aren't allowed to carry radiation detectors ourselves. They were taken away at the airport, so we have to take their word for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dismantling of the nuclear test grounds connected with high level of transparency, as clearly a test once again the proactive and peace loving efforts of the government (Inaudible).

RIPLEY: You really do get the sense that you're witnessing history here, which is why we're documenting every single building on this site, because by the end of the, day it will all be gone. We hiked to an observation post, built just for us and watched (Inaudible) go up in smoke. The official statement from North Korea's ministry of foreign affairs indicates that Pyongyang is still interested in a dialogue with Washington.

They say they're ready to talk with President Trump at any time. They say dialogue between the two countries is crucial to improve the situation on the peninsula and they say that the nuclear test site destruction was, in their words, a meaningful transparent step towards denuclearization, a sign of good will ahead of any potential talks with the United States. Will Ripley, CNN, North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know Phil, the North Koreans are like a show. They blew the (Inaudible) tower (Inaudible) in 2008. They dismantled the reactor. But (Inaudible) when relations went bad, so how much talk do you put into this destruction, if you like, of the nuclear testing site.

YUN: Well, I think it's a meaningful step, quite clearly. I think there were some false reports that said that this facility was not usable anyway. But that's not true. There is always settling at a large explosion, and it was earlier there were tunnels that were not used, so that destruction, that is not going to be used for tests again.

However, we have to realize that North Korea has many, many tunnels. It's a country of tunnels. And I think that if they needed to and wanted to, they could certainly reconstruct another test site if they need to. Ultimately, all of this stuff is going to come down to North Korea generally saying they they're going to give these up, because all the technology, all the know how is in their minds. They know how to do this.

And they have the raw resource that we saw at the test site, to be able to reconstruct. So it's a meaningful step, but not it's not permanent.

VAUSE: OK, 30 seconds, Clayton, because you know regardless of whether it's meaningful or not, it gives Beijing something to point to at least when it comes to easing sanctions. Look, they blew up the testing site.

DUBE: Well, and Beijing has said to the United States over and over, you have to talk to Pyongyang. And that's now not on the table. $

VAUSE: OK. Clayton and Philip, we appreciate you both being with us. Thank you so much. And we're following breaking news out of Ontario, Canada, where police say they're for these two men, photographed as they entered an Indian restaurant in suburban Toronto, and then bombed it with in improvised explosive device. The blast wounded 15 people, 3 of them critically. The victims were taken to hospitals and a trauma center, while the attackers fled the scene. The police have put out a description of the suspects and are asking

for the public's help to identify them. And here on Newsroom L.A., find out what happened in Washington to prompt one Republican to call it the craziest bleep he's ever seen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:20:00] VAUSE: In Washington, two closed door meetings were held on Thursday to discuss one subject, a confidential intelligent source in the Russia investigation. Justice Department officials met with top law makers on both sides of the aisle. But in a move which raised alarm among Democrats, White House attorney Emmitt Flood and Chief of Staff John Kelly were there for the start of the meetings.

Well, for more, Wendy Greuel and Joe Messina are here to give us their insight into what all of this means. So let's start with the White House press secretary statement from Sarah Sanders. It came out late Thursday, which read neither Chief Kelly nor Mr. Flood actually attended the meetings but did make brief remarks before the meetings starting to relay the President's desire for as much openness as possible. Joe, regardless this all seems fishier than a dumpster outside Red Lobster.

JOE MESSINA, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, it obviously depends on what side of the aisle you're on. Going there, making a statement with the President wants things open and transparent, and wants to know really what took place. Again, I love doing this. No different Loretta Lynch and Mr. Clinton meeting on the tarmac.

VAUSE: Which Republicans (Inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: I hear what you're saying.

VAUSE: And he was a former President, not a sitting President.

MESSINA: But it was acceptable (Inaudible) this should be acceptable (Inaudible) shouldn't it, same principle.

(CROSSTALK)

WENDY GREUEL, LOS ANGELES CITY, FORMER CONTROLLER: Totally different. I mean look, this is an instance where it is a planned event that they have. It is unprecedented that you would have the lawyer representing the President of the United States and his chief of staff in a meeting like this. When the topic is something of that nature, which is close to the investigation and what is happening with Mueller.

It is unprecedented. And it doesn't matter whether you're Republican or Democrat. It is just not the right way to approach that. And they said the reason they did it was to encourage you know relationship between the Justice Department and these elected officials, and they talk all the time. They're part of that briefing all the time. There was no need for that. VAUSE: You know the Department of Justice, late Wednesday night, put

out a list of those who would be attending this meeting. No mention of Emmitt Flood, the attorney for Donald Trump, because this is an investigation into Donald Trump. And the attorney of the President should not be present for the same reason that Pablo Escobar's lawyer doesn't get to go into a meeting at the DEA and find out what evidence they have in their investigations.

So I mean isn't the same, why does the President's guy gets to sit in and try to find out what these guys have got.

MESSINA: As you've said, he wasn't sitting in. He wants to make a statement and left. $

VAUSE: That's because he got spotted by the reporters entering the room.

MESSINA: Again, my crystal ball doesn't work that way. You know either we believe what they say or we don't, and I...

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: Depending on where you're standing, again is whether you believe Trump is lying all the time or telling the truth all the time. Again, politics at its finest, isn't it?

VAUSE: Absolutely. Donald Trump's lead lawyer, the world's greatest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, this is in the Russia investigation. He told Politico the briefing might pave the way for an interview between President Trump and the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This is what he said. We honestly held a briefing went today and how much we learned from it, Giuliani said on a Thursday phone call. If we learn a good deal from it, it will shorten the whole process considerably.

You know Wendy, again, does this sound acceptable and above board?

GREUEL: It shows intent of wanting to find out that information. We don't have a crystal ball, but we're you know (Inaudible) planned or not. That says they intended to find out information that would be useful to them. So whether or not they stayed for those 10 minutes or before, it was unnecessary and unprecedented to be in that room.

And then they didn't invite Adam Schiff until the last minute. I mean it was -- he was invited, he's not invited. He was invited, he's not invited. It was an unusual circumstance and I think it's not something that we want to see repeated in the future.

VAUSE: And Joe, when you hear these statements coming from Rudy Giuliani, I mean to you, does that sound acceptable?

MESSINA: Well, I think what he's saying is that look, depending on what they find, not him directly but what they find out as a whole.

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: The information they actually have, why would they have to ask some of the questions. Maybe they can shorten the question list for the President. Maybe they'll get some of the answers they're already looking for.

VAUSE: We're talking about the definition of they, as in...

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: Well, I am not talking about Giuliani directly. I'm talking about you know the congressional leaders that were there (Inaudible) whoever was there today and the information they were able to (Inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: We don't know everything.

VAUSE: But exactly, but a source suggesting that Giuliani is sort of distancing himself from what they find?

MESSINA: I think Giuliani's saying depending on what they -- maybe he should've said depending on what they find, depending on the information they get -- they might even decide to shorten this or even lengthen this. Maybe they'll have more questions.

(CROSSTALK)

[02:25:03] VAUSE: As opposed to how much we learned from it.

MESSINA: Yeah. I think it was probably (Inaudible).

GREUEL: The way he said made it seem like whatever they, whoever they is, and we're going to know about what they found out. And it's confidential. That's the whole idea about this, of the legislators that are there, are supposed those congressional leaders supposed to be confidential and not shared with the President of the United States who is the subject of this investigation.

VAUSE: But Joe, the concern that a lot people have, especially Democrats, but other Republicans is that you now have the President of United States essentially directing the Inspector General to look into the FBI, an investigation which he is the focus of, which is abnormal. You then also have you know the White House's lawyer turning up at a classified briefing for lawmakers.

Now whether he stayed or not, you can argue the case. But it's a break down of the norms within the U.S. government since the days of Nixon.

MESSINA: OK. So we're screaming transparency. We want to see everything, except, right? That's where we're going now? The IG says that there is some proof there that some of the emails points back to the FBI, some misgivings by some of the FBI members, not all of them. You got some great agents in the FBI. Let's not try to make it sound like somebody is painting with a broad brush.

There are some issues between the FBI and DOJ in the way -- you want to go all the way back to the email server (Inaudible) in the Trump campaign that were handled incorrectly, and sometimes illegally.

VAUSE: If there's a problem...

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: How do you get there?

VAUSE: OK. Well, (Inaudible) because Giuliani, the gift that keeps on giving (Inaudible) raised concern about the President's legal exposure, telling the Washington Post Giuliani said he was concerned that the President would become a target or that the interview would be a perjury trap because the truth is relative.

They may have a different version of the truth than we do, which essentially is the Costanza defense. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry, just remember it's not a lie if you believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Wendy, it sounds like we're back to alternative facts.

GREUEL: Definitely alternative facts. I mean you know when you go in, you don't perjure yourself. If you told the truth, if you're transparent, there's nothing to be perjured on. So I think you know it's like our kids. We tell them not to lie, not to do that, a lie is a lie.

VAUSE: So Joe, is there an alternative truth or is the truth the truth?

MESSINA: I don't you know again, I do a whole piece, 13 minutes on Hillary Clinton lying about ducking bullets. I mean what is the truth and when it does it come out? When it comes to things like these, what do we know and what don't we know yet. Do you what I'm saying? I mean we need to get the information from the DOJ.

We need to get the information from the FBI before we sit down and make decisions or come up with what we think actually happened. You said it yourself it's secret, right.

(CROSSTALK)

GREUEL: The whole point is though, Mueller is the special investigator. He has been hired to do that, to do his job. This is a totally separate you know.

(CROSSTALK)

MESSINA: Mueller to investigate his best buddy. Are we serious? You don't see any problem with that?

VAUSE: Mueller and Comey are not best friends. They work together. But anyway, that's beside the point. We'll leave it there. I think we're going down a rabbit hole. Joe and Wendy, thank you both so much.

GREUEL: Thank you.

VAUSE: One of the most powerful men in Hollywood will soon find himself before a judge, facing felony charges. So what's next for Harvey Weinstein? That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:42] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. North Korea says it's still willing to meet face to face with the U.S. at any time even though Donald Trump has called off the summit with Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang says cancelling the meeting is in line with its hope and peace feasibility. But it will keep an open mind in dealing with it United States.

Police in Ontario, Canada say they're searching for two men who attacked an Indian restaurant in suburban Toronto with an improvised explosive device. The blast wounded 15 people, three of them critically. The victims were taken to area hospitals as well as a trauma center and police are asking for the public's help to identify and find the suspects.

A CNN investigation has uncovered a pattern of alleged inappropriate behavior by the legendary actor Morgan Freeman both on set and in the production company revelations entertainment. Eight women told us they were the victims of what some called harassment. Other called inappropriate behavior. Freeman has issued a statement saying, "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I'm not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected. That was never my intent.

Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself into New York Police Friday morning according to a source familiar with the investigation. The former Hollywood produce will be charged with raping one woman and forcing another to former oral sex on him. His attorney declined to comment and Weinstein has denied any allegation of non-consensual sex. Well, for more on all of these criminal defense attorney and former sex crimes prosecutor Ambrosio Rodriguez is with us here in the studio. Thank you for coming in.

AMBROSIO RODRIGUEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Ok. So let's start with Weinstein turning himself into the NYPD. It -- one of the charges is that he raped one woman, forced the other to perfect oral sex. What else do we know about these specific allegations?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, these are the allegations that came out in the New York or that sparked the whole Me Too Movement. I mean it really is how the mighty have fallen, right? The -- both of these charges kind of back each other up. In a sex crimes case, in a prosecution, the D.A. needs corroboration. It's never enough to just have the accusation of one woman without having physical evidence or biological evidence, and that's actually kind of rare with late reporting is very common because of issues of shame and power that go with it. But now, you have two separate women that tell similar stories that don't know each other and have the -- at least the D.A. believe to have credible stories. I want to also keep in mind that the D.A. of Manhattan Cyrus Vance is actually got into a lot of controversy because this information -- the cops that --

(CROSSTALK)

RODRIGUEZ: Right. And they had it on tape, remember? So a lot of this had to do with kind of the political pressure that was --

VAUSE: So you mentioned the sort of cooperation here and other victims, these two victims here. One was Cosby. There was one victim but others were allowed to testify which, you know, is essentially establishes a pattern of behavior. Will it be a similar situation here?

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. New York is just like California. It allows what's called uncharged acts that is other women who -- the crime that is -- that they accused Harvey of having committed is not being charged in the indictment. So the women from New York, from London that have -- may reports can come into New York and make a statement in front of the jury.

VAUSE: Weinstein apparently negotiated (INAUDIBLE) how do you do that and does it actually mean he won't spend any time in jail at least initially?

RODRIGUEZ: You do that when you have an army of lawyers, right? I mean that's -- bail is usually set by schedule and a bail schedule is based on the maximum amount of time a person can spend in prison if found guilty. What probably happened was he was told ahead of time what the charges would be. The bail is -- bail was set and he paid for that bail probably as a cash bond and it was already setup. He's still under New York law. It has to be booked. So he will be fingerprinted. There will be a motion of it --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: There'll be a perp walk?

RODRIGUEZ: I'm sure there will be.

VAUSE: OK. OK. So you mention an army of lawyers. If you were doing this case, would you try and fight it? Would you for pleading or what do you think they'll do? [02:35:06] RODRIGUEZ: He's not going to take a plea. It's going to

go to trial. I mean there -- there's a legitimate -- look, this is the defense that Harvey Weinstein should use which is -- it is a -- it has -- it's kind of a radical defense, but it has to be given the facts of the case which is trading sex for jobs in Hollywood is common. It is the coin of the realm. There are lots and lots of women that had sex with me in order to get positions or to get roles. These two women are making the accusations were doing the same thing. They just have buyer's remorse or they're not happy they didn't get the part or I didn't give them a part, or things just didn't work out. But Hollywood is a dirty business and --

VAUSE: Is that the best you've got?

RODRIGUEZ: I don't see why it wouldn't work out. I mean --

VAUSE: Oh, really?

RODRIGUEZ: Right.

VAUSE: How does (INAUDIBLE) years ago. How does that working out in an era of Me Too?

RODRIGUEZ: Because just -- because we have an era or Me Too on the media and the New Yorker and a certain called -- certain part of the United States doesn't mean that everyone has bought into Me Too. I mean, right? We've talked about Me Too so much that it has become kind of -- we've kind of become lazy to think that everyone agrees with Me Too. But that's not necessarily true.

VAUSE: I just thought that there's now much more of a -- of a willingness to accept the word of women when they come forward and they detail these stories. Whereas before it always seem like there was -- the bias towards the person being accused as opposed to the accuser. Now, it seems that shifted. And so I'm just wondering how good that defense is in that kind of atmosphere?

RODRIGUEZ: That shifted in the media, but that doesn't mean it shifted with everyone else. There are 350 million people. There are about 12 million of those living in New York. I don't believe that everyone has bought into it. Men are acquitted of rape every day in this country.

VAUSE: So this will be a jury trial?

RODRIGUEZ: This will be a jury trial and it will be a hell of a trial.

VAUSE: Will we see more charges or is this it?

RODRIGUEZ: There will be -- I think that now Los Angeles is under more pressure to press charges. And they're running towards the end of sexual limitations to make that decision.

VAUSE: Right. OK. It -- this is obviously just the beginning and there's a lot yet to play out. Ambrosio, thank you so much for coming in.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you so much for having me.

VAUSE: Cheers. Congratulations on the new baby girl.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you so much. VAUSE: Well, Ireland is holding a historic referendum on the future

of abortion. We have a live report from Dublin on an emotional issue that had caused deep division across the country. And Hawaii on high alert as Kilauea sent ashes and fire thousands of meters into the sky. Residents being told to take cover.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, in the coming hours Irish (INAUDIBLE) will decide on whether to repeal the country's abortion law with the referendum under way right now.

[02:40:05] CNN's Atika Shubert joins us live from Dublin. She is near a polling station. And right now I think where the point of the news coverage where there are some fairly strict regulation on what we can and cannot report and there's no lot that we can say. So it's good to see you. How is the family? Seriously, what are these rules and why are they in place?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean the rules are in place so that it doesn't influence the vote. So we can't get too much into the debate surrounding the vote, but I can tell you a little bit more about the question that voters are facing in the polling station today. Now, actually, the polls have just opened only about 40 minutes ago and, you know, about three million voters are registered here across Ireland. We'll have to wait to see what the turnout is. But at this particular station we've already seen about 50 people going in to votes and that's just within 10 minutes of opening. So it will be interesting to see what the turnout is. In terms of what the question that voters are being faced with, they're basically facing a yes or no question. Do they agree with the proposal to replace -- to amend the constitution? And that would mean replacing and repealing the Eighth Amendment which basically says that the right of the unborn child -- the right of the life to the unborn child is equal to the right of life to the mother.

Now, this has effectively banned abortion in Ireland. And what the proposal is to replace it with another amendment which would say, "The provision maybe made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy." Now, to be clear, what voters are facing here is if they vote, no, it means that the constitution remains the same. The status quo continues. If they vote, yes, then the Eighth Amendment is repealed and replaced with that provision. It does not mean that abortion will automatically be made legal. That would still need to have the government submit legislation. It would still need to be debated and voted in parliament. But as you can imagine this is very emotional and very deeply personal issue for voters here. And the debate has been campaigning, has been going on here for months. So everybody is now waiting to see what the turnout will be, and of course what the results will be. We'll get those tomorrow.

VAUSE: OK. Atika, it's obviously very noisy day there too in Dublin, but it was good to have you with us. And we know you'll be keeping a close eye on this and we appreciate that. Thank you. (INAUDIBLE) live pictures now from Hawaii, an eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on Thursday night sent a plume of ash 3,000 meters into the air. The civil defense agency is warning residents in the area to stay indoors, close the windows. Those outside are advice to seek cover. The lava continues to flow into the Pacific Ocean. Three parts have been advancing towards the water now. There are two. But the situation is still dangerous with toxic fumes pouring out of the fissures. And with that, we'll say thank you for watching NEWSROOM L.A. live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us now. "WORLD SPORT" with Kate Riley is up next. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)